SHIRLEY

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“As in her 2018 triumph Madeline’s Madeline, Decker takes a destabilizing approach to scenes, eschewing establishing shots and shoving the camera too close to the characters at odd, disjunctive angles. Shirley is only her fourth feature but Decker’s already developed an instantly recognizable visual style that feels like it’s made entirely of elbows.” – North Shore Movies, 06/05/2020

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TOMMASO

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“An almost invasively autobiographical reckoning, the largely improvised film was shot in Ferrara’s own apartment, with his wife Cristina Chiriac playing Dafoe’s spouse and their three-year-old daughter as the young Deedee. So if the movie sometimes feels like you’re eavesdropping on somebody’s most intimate arguments, that’s because you might be.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 06/04/2020

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QUARANTINE DOUBLE FEATURE: AT HOME ALONE

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“I’ve had no hankering to rewatch Cast Away for the same reasons you won’t catch me taking another look at Contagion. Yet this grim week I found myself drawn to two stark, cinematic portraits of isolation. Gus Van Sant’s Last Days and Robert Altman’s Secret Honor are fictionalized riffs on famous figures, speculating about their darkest hours at home, alone.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 05/29/2020

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THE TRIP TO GREECE

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“I thought I’d run out of patience with the international improv shenanigans of Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. And yet somehow The Trip To Greece sat better with me than their previous couple of pictures, which I guess is either a testament to me being worn down by repetition or just the strange circumstances under which the film has been released.” – North Shore Movies, 05/29/2020

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THE ARTERY LIVING ROOM LIVESTREAM: BETWEEN THE LINES

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On The ARTery Living Room Livestream I sat down for a virtual chat with my old friend Ed Siegel to discuss Joan Micklin Silver’s great 1977 Boston newspaper comedy Between The Lines, our experiences starting out at alt-weeklies much like the one depicted in the movie and why this film still feels relevant more than forty years later. – WBUR’s The ARTery, 05/22/2020

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QUARANTINE DOUBLE FEATURE: WOLVES AT THE DOOR

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The Night of the Hunter’s high contrast black-and-white imagery is a deliberate throwback to silent film expressionism, while the tacky day-glo colors of Freeway are straight from tabloid television. The films have seemingly opposite aspirations, yet both are stories about a child’s ability to abide and endure, especially when the wolves are at the door.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 05/22/2020

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THE PAINTER AND THE THIEF

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“Ultimately it’s about how art can change people’s lives for better and worse, altering our perspectives of ourselves and the world around us. But it’s also about how such work isn’t created in a vacuum. The film’s note-perfect final shot illuminates the symbiotic relationship between the artist and the admirers, the seers and the seen, the painters and the thieves.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 05/21/2020

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QUARANTINE DOUBLE FEATURE: MEN ON THE MARGINS

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“Altman’s California Split and Bogdanovich’s Saint Jack have long dwelled in the back alleys of their directors’ filmographies, movies more written about than seen, boasting an ardent band of acolytes. In a way this seems somehow appropriate, as they’re modestly scaled pictures about men living on the margins, hustlers scraping by from score to score.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 05/15/2020

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CAPONE

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“I developed a weird, contrarian’s affection for the ugliness of this movie. Hardy could so easily be a heartthrob but instead he’s a Mickey Rourke waiting to happen, and in Capone he’s finally found a role that allows him to bleat incoherently like an addled Popeye the Sailor Man while noisily shitting his pants onscreen not once, but twice.” – North Shore Movies, 05/15/2020

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FOURTEEN

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“But life doesn’t really work that way, and most friendships don’t end so much as they just fade away. As you get older people disappear from your life so gradually sometimes you don’t even notice until they’re gone, and writer-director Dan Sallitt’s Fourteen is a movie about a close friendship’s slow dissolve over years that seem to pass in a blink.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 05/14/2020

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